Posted in Review

Review: Also an Octopus

Today’s review is Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrated by Benji Davis.

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My Rating 10 out of 10

My Son’s Rating 10 out of 10

Are you a budding writer? Do you want to share some basic writing skills with your child? Do you feel you need to express what stories mean to a younger audience but aren’t quite sure on their level of development? If so, you have found the right book.

This is the perfect book for teaching children about story basics. Maggie has cleverly given the target audience ideas and easy methods on how to get started writing a story. The book itself is about a character and what they need to do to have an exciting and engaging adventure. Maggie has easily achieved her goal, and if you’re a writer like me, you’ll take some inspiration from it too.

I would say it’s aimed around a very young audience, around the four to seven-year mark and this is reflected by Benji’s illustrations. Each page has a bright illustration, and it’s evident where you’re supposed to look, the flow of each image is natural and simple to follow.

Every object, person or animal within has a purpose in the book, and they are all used correctly and placed in such a way that you instantly want to go back and have a re-read.

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Each page has an idea of its own to get young minds imagination and their creativity flowing, it’s the sort of book I would expect to see in a school library, and I like to think that maybe it is!

The way the octopus talks through the book is a lovely little quirk, it acts as though he can hear the narrator, which is typical for a children’s picture book but its friendly and engaging.

The text is simple but works well, for an early years reader, this certainly ticks the right boxes regarding readability.

I do find it an original idea, another one of those “I wish I had thought of that” type of feelings flashed through my mind upon reading it which makes it a great read, in my eyes.

I also enjoy the ending, the closure of one story and the potential of another. I feel children aren’t stupid, you should play to their cleverness and intuition, and their imaginations should be nurtured and explored as best as possible to reach their future potential. I won’t lie, I would like nothing more than my children to grow up to have the same writing flare I have. Though I’ll never be pushy, I want to encourage them to find their own passions and hobbies and personally speaking this book will be amongst the collection I’ll keep for years to come.

The message within the story is what keeps it at a young readers category. It’s such a joy to read, and my son sat still throughout the entire read and joined in when prompted with ease.

Comments from my son:

“I loved all of it

“My favourite part was the ending”

(He also giggled at the waffles)

If you liked this read, try The Mood Hoover by Paul Brown and illustrated by Rowena Blyth

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DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW?

As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.

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Posted in progress, writing

Writing Update

It’s been a very long time since I put any sort of writing update on here but I’ve been itching to do it lately, so here it goes.

Project Robot, a story loosely Christmas related, is something I’ve to tried to re-write today went well but there’s so much I need to change.  The second draft of it is underway and it’s a bit disheartening to think I may need a couple of extra re-writes before I feel it’s ready for publication.

Project three, my favourite project out of everything I’ve ever done has been sent to agencies.  I’ve only done it recently and feel quite bad as it was ready months ago but only recently has the motivation come back into my life.

I have actually been paid to write articles over the past couple of months and have loved living the dream – being paid actual, real-life money to write.  I just wish it was on a more permanent basis.  I need to find more clients or better websites that will hire me for my talents.

Not to use it as an excuse but I’m 6 months pregnant with twins so I tend to be lethargic in the evenings and haven’t pushed myself to do any more than the above.  I really hope that in 12 months time, I’ll have another publication in Christopher Fielden’s “Nonsensically Challenged”, a bit more of a steady income, more completed work, all while juggling 4 children!.

I think one thing that will help with motivation is posting a bit more on my blog, so you’ll definitely see more of these posts and more picture book reviews.  I must stick with this momentum and carry on!